African-Americans have higher levels of Bible engagement and are more concerned about the decline in morality than the general U.S. population, a recent study has found.
The latest State of the Bible survey by American Bible Society found that African-Americans ranked exceptionally high when it comes to areas of biblical engagement.
Overall, African-Americans ranked higher than other Americans when it comes to: listening to a church leader (48 percent) versus a business leader (9 percent), owning at least one Bible in their homes (93 percent), wishing they read the Bible more (74 percent), downloading or using a Bible app on a smartphone (52 percent), and increasing Bible reading in the last year (26 percent).
For many African-Americans, it is more important to start the day with the Bible than coffee, as 37 percent chose the Bible over caffeine, sweets, and social media. African-Americans with higher levels of Bible engagement are also more likely to desire even more interaction with the Bible, and half of all African-Americans say they always feel more connected to God when they read the Bible.
The study also found that nearly half — 45 percent — of African-Americans believe the Bible has too little influence on society. Additionally, 83 percent of African-Americans are concerned about the decline in morality compared to 79 percent of all Americans, with 23 percent citing the lack of Bible reading as the reason for the decline.
Interestingly, 51 percent of African-Americans are still more optimistic about the future than Whites (32 percent) or Asians (24 percent). While about half believe the Bible strongly discourages pornography and prostitution, as a group, they are less certain about what the Bible says about politics and public life than other topics.
Stil, 92 percent say elected leaders should display peace, kindness, gentleness and self-control, and 61 percent believe the Bible is the moral fabric of the U.S. compared to 39 percent who believe the U.S. Constitution is.
Roy Peterson, president and CEO of American Bible Society, said the study indicates that African-Americans know that Bible engagement can impact all areas of their lives for the better.
"The Bible is the source of ultimate hope and joy," he said. "People who devote time in it can discover for themselves how the Word of God can help make sense of life."